Consequences of age-related cognitive declines

Annu Rev Psychol. 2012:63:201-26. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100328. Epub 2011 Jul 5.


Adult age differences in a variety of cognitive abilities are well documented, and many of those abilities have been found to be related to success in the workplace and in everyday life. However, increased age is seldom associated with lower levels of real-world functioning, and the reasons for this lab-life discrepancy are not well understood. This article briefly reviews research concerned with relations of age to cognition, relations of cognition to successful functioning outside the laboratory, and relations of age to measures of work performance and achievement. The final section discusses several possible explanations for why there are often little or no consequences of age-related cognitive declines in everyday functioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Age Factors
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Cognition*
  • Humans